Dear Scott Coker,
I get that you’re a fan of Pride FC. I am too. It was a fun time in MMA where that mixed fighting and the pageantry of professional wrestling. A time when you could have pro wrestlers and comedians fight and it would be totally fine. The thing is that was nearly a decade ago. Times have changed. Things like one night tournaments just aren’t entertaining. While there are exceptions for the most part it involves two guys fighting as carefully as they can and having boring fights. That certainly seemed the case with King Mo vs a guy nobody cared about. Even when they do win there’s the risk of injury. Something that not only happened last night but you experienced in Strikeforce with the Heavyweight Tournament. Despite taking place over a year you still ended the whole thing you ended with none of the “dream” matches happening and a prelim guy winning the whole thing.
Then there’s tonight’s announcement of Fedor Emelianenko. Yes, he was a star at one time. Yes, he had a great undefeated streak (even if it’s highly questionable). But his mystique is all but gone nowadays. If it wasn’t his minute loss to Fabricio Werdum it was his loss to middleweight Dan Henderson. This is five years ago. Wins over a washed up Jeff Monson or Pedro Rizzo certainly haven’t rehabbed his image. So why bring him in? Unless he loses against a fighter you want to make a star this it kind of feels like a waste of money. You should know this after his contract killed Strikeforce.
I understand why Bellator does these things. Minor things like WWE style entrances help Bellator stand out and that’s important. But when you look past that flashy veneer you see a company with some very obvious flaws. Things like relying on long past their prime talent (didn’t even mention using Tito Ortiz in 2015) and things not done since the 90’s look low rent. I’d love for Bellator MMA to succeed. The more successful companies the better. But if last night’s Dynamite 1 show is any indication they’ll be a distant second place no matter how much money Viacom puts into it.